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Alta Loma, CA, United States, 2006/10/14 - Former Hump Pilot, Lt Colonel Caldwell Powell, dies aged 85 at hone in Alta Loma, CA. Highly decorated, he was awared the Legion Of Merit and The Distinguished Flying Cross..
Lt Colonel Caldwell Newton (C.N.) Powell, one of the last remaining true U.S. Air Force pilots, passed away late in the evening of October 10th.
He passed away peacefully at the home of his daughter, Sharon Hunt, where he had been residing for the last two and half years.
Lt Colonel is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Rubye, and grandchildren Dane and Ashlee Yates who were at his bedside.
“For the past several years he had suffered from a brain tumor and cancer, yet through of all his ills he never complained. He must have been in pain, but was more concerned about others than about himself,” states his daughter Sharon Hunt.
“Care givers and nursing staff always commented on how he greeted everybody with a big smile and a hearty “thank you” when they left.”
Col. Powell was a national hero and dedicated his life to his country and the pursuit of democracy and freedom. His Air Force career was rich and spanned over 30 years. He was a pilot, and during W.W.II flew many missions over the “China, Burma, India Hump,” served during the Korean War, and three tours of duty in Vietnam.
Highly decorated with numerous medals and service awards Col Powell also received the Legion Of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Distinguished Flying Cross medal is awarded to any officer who distinguishes himself or herself in combat in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.”
Service to his country included training in the Astronaut Candidate Program, and participation in top secret undercover missions.
After retiring from the Air Force as Commander In Chief of Air Services for Lockheed in 1972, he went on to a successful career as Quality Control Engineer for ATI in Sunnyvale CA for 15 years. ATI was a provider of advanced signal processing systems, products, and services in support of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Col. Powell’s career with ATI once again placed him in the unique position of helping to protect his country against foreign military and terrorist threats.
Colonel Powell married the love of his life, Rubye Patricia Love, from Devine, Texas on January 3, 1947. “C.N. and Pat,” lived in many places during their years together, including Japan and Hawaii. The family moved to rural Alta Loma, CA in 1968. In 1996, C.N. and Pat moved to Air Force Village in San Antonio, Texas. Wanting to be closer to their family, they returned to California in 2004.
Colonel Powell graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.A. Degree, and from the University of Redlands with a M.A. degree.
Col. Powell is survived by his wife Rubye, his daughter and her husband, Sharon and Keith Hunt; his son Craig, San Francisco, CA; his beloved grandchildren Dane and Ashlee Yates; grandchildren Caitlin and Ian Powell; and granddaughter Elisabeth Posey Ford, and great-grandchildren Chris and Megan Ford, Hebron, KY.
“Through his service, my father helped a nation full of people that never knew him, or never knew what he contributed to our country. Modest in his exploits and achievements he asked for nothing in return. My hero really was a hero.”
“He is flying his last mission home, but this time he has a different wingman,” concludes Sharon Hunt.